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Old 02-06-12, 09:52 AM   #1
ydnandy
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Default North Carolina - Tinting law

I picked up an IS350 about a week ago and I am looking to get my windows tinted. Doing some research and it sounds like i have to permit 35% of light through the windows in NC... this seems like its barely nothing, almost not worth tinting.

From what I can tell, the darker tint is reason to fail a state inspection and your registration will not be renewed. What other penalties are possible? I am sure I can get a traffic stop from the darker tint, but is that simply a ticket and fine? I read something that suggested the dark tint had been promoted to criminal cases and a misdemeanor charge was possible. Can anyone confirm/deny this? I can gamble on a fine, but not a criminal charge...

I wanted to see how other people are dealing with this situation... does everyone simply know of a shop that wont check the tint when state inspection rolls around?

Already learning a ton from these forums, hope some local NC people can help with this question.

thanks in advance!
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Old 02-06-12, 12:44 PM   #2
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With inspections it is probably not a good idea. If it was just because of the cops, the key is to roll down all of your windows when they stop you. The % is really high, like here in SC...like 37% of something crazy high like that.
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Old 02-06-12, 01:06 PM   #3
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I found this, straight from the books!

Quote:
The General Assembly of North Carolina enacts:

Section 1. G.S. 20-127, as amended by Chapter 683 of the
1993 Session Laws (Reg. Sess. 1994), reads as rewritten:
" 20-127. Windows and windshield wipers.


(a) Windshield Wipers. -- A vehicle that is operated on a
highway and has a windshield must have a windshield wiper
to clear rain or other substances from the windshield in
front of the driver of the vehicle and the windshield wiper
must be in good working order. If a vehicle has more than
one windshield wiper to clear substances from the windshield,
all the windshield wipers must be in good working order.


(b) Window Tinting Restrictions. -- A window of a vehicle that is
operated on a highway or a public vehicular area must comply with
this subsection. The windshield of the vehicle may be tinted
only along the top of the windshield and the tinting may not
extend more than five inches below the top of the windshield or
below the AS1 line of the windshield, whichever measurement is
longer. Any other window of the vehicle may be tinted in
accordance with the following restrictions:
(1) The total light transmission of the tinted
window must be at least thirty-five percent (35%).
A vehicle window that, by use of a light meter
approved by the Commissioner, measures a total
light transmission of more than thirty-two
percent (32%) is conclusively presumed to meet
this restriction.

(2) The light reflectance of the tinted window must
be twenty percent (20%) or less.

(3) Tinted film or another material used to tint the
window must be nonreflective and must be a color
other than red, yellow, or amber.

(c) Tinting Exceptions. -- The window tinting restrictions in
subsection (b) of this section apply without exception to the
windshield of a vehicle. The window tinting restrictions in
subdivisions (b)(1) and (b)(2) of this section do not apply to
any of the following vehicle windows:
(1) A window of an excursion passenger vehicle, as
defined in G.S. 20-4.01(27)a.

(2) A window of a
for-hire passenger vehicle, as defined in
G.S. 20-4.01(27)b.

(3) A window of a common carrier of passengers, as
defined in G.S. 20-4.01(27)c.

(4) A window of a motor home, as defined in
G.S. 20-4.01(27)d2.

(5) A window of an ambulance, as defined in
G.S. 20-4.01(27)f.

(6) The rear window of a property-hauling vehicle,
as defined in G.S. 20-4.01(31).

(7) A window of a limousine.

(8) A window of a law enforcement vehicle.

(9) A window of a multipurpose vehicle that is behind
the driver of the vehicle. A multipurpose vehicle
is a passenger vehicle that is designed to carry
10 or fewer passengers and either is constructed
on a truck chassis or has special features designed
for occasional off-road operation. A minivan and
a pickup truck are multipurpose vehicles.
(10) A window of a vehicle that is registered in another
state and meets the requirements of the state in
which it is registered.

(d) Violations. -- A person who does any of the following commits a
misdemeanor of the class set in G.S. 20-176:
(1) Applies tinting to the window of a vehicle that
is subject to a safety inspection in this State
and the resulting tinted window does not meet the
window tinting restrictions set in this section.

(2) Drives on a highway or a public vehicular area
a vehicle that has a window that does not meet
the window tinting restrictions set in this section.

(e) Defense. -- It is a defense to a charge of driving a vehicle with
an unlawfully tinted window that the tinting was removed within
15 days after the charge and the window now meets the window
tinting restrictions. To assert this defense, the person charged
must produce in court, or submit to the prosecuting attorney before
trial, a certificate from the Division of Motor Vehicles or the
Highway Patrol showing that the window complies with the
restrictions."
http://home.pcisys.net/~bpc/auto_law/tint/tint_nc.html
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Old 02-06-12, 01:41 PM   #4
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@greg0126 - thanks... I know what the legal limits are, my questions were more about the potential punishments. Do you know if it is simply a ticket and fine, or worse? I am trying to find the post that made me think this could have been elevated to a misdemeanor charge.... I find that hard to believe, but was looking for confirmation.

I also thought I saw something that hinted at there being a fee/fine I could pay on a yearly basis to keep the darker windows... anyone know anything about that?

sorry for all the questions... in addition to being a new lexus owner, also fairly new to the Carolinas.

Thanks again


EDIT: Just went back and re-read the entire clipping, looks like this is actually more than a ticket

(d) Violations. -- A person who does any of the following commits a
misdemeanor of the class set in G.S. 20-176:
(1) Applies tinting to the window of a vehicle that
is subject to a safety inspection in this State
and the resulting tinted window does not meet the
window tinting restrictions set in this section.

(2) Drives on a highway or a public vehicular area
a vehicle that has a window that does not meet
the window tinting restrictions set in this section.

Last edited by ydnandy; 02-06-12 at 01:59 PM..
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Old 02-06-12, 02:06 PM   #5
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Quote:
Originally Posted by ydnandy View Post
@greg0126 - thanks... I know what the legal limits are, my questions were more about the potential punishments. Do you know if it is simply a ticket and fine, or worse? I am trying to find the post that made me think this could have been elevated to a misdemeanor charge.... I find that hard to believe, but was looking for confirmation.

I also thought I saw something that hinted at there being a fee/fine I could pay on a yearly basis to keep the darker windows... anyone know anything about that?

sorry for all the questions... in addition to being a new lexus owner, also fairly new to the Carolinas.

Thanks again
Found this from North Carolina DOT. If you know a doctor maybe he'll fill out a medical form for you. My excuse when I get pulled over is I'm prone to sunburn (since I'm a redhead). When they ask me for a doctor's note I just retort that I don't need a doctor to tell me that I'm a ginger. Has worked every time so far.

I read in a few places that the ticket is $170, so even *if* you found an inspector that would pass your tint if you got pulled over you'd either have to remove the tint and get it certified in person at the DMV or pay up the fine.

And it is a misdemeanor. Meaning you could technically go to jail for it but I doubt any cop will do that unless they see you've had tint problems like 5 times in the past.
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Old 02-07-12, 06:56 AM   #6
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Does the state inspection mandate that all windows are tested, or just one? Wondering if you are more likely to pass inspection if you have a legal tint on the front windows, but darker one the back... Is that at the discretion of the testing facility?

So if a cop pulls me over and my tint is too dark, it is up to him to decide if he/she wants to charge me with the misdemeanor? Do most simply issue a traffic citation but not the criminal charge?

thanks again
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Old 02-07-12, 07:34 AM   #7
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Whenever your windows are visibly tinted the NC inspection station will charge you extra to test them. Since NC has requirements on all windows I would imagine they would test them all.

If you were to get pulled over it's always the cop's discretion whether or not to write you a ticket, in any state. Most traffic offenses (speeding, red-light running, rolling stop) are misdemeanors, and getting a ticket is a legal form of arrest. I strongly doubt you'll go to jail for window tint unless they wrote you a bunch of tickets in the past and see no other way to get the message through to you.

The only ways to get around it legally in North Carolina are to either get a doctor's note or register your vehicle as a limousine. Even then I think they still impose certain restrictions.
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Old 02-07-12, 08:34 AM   #8
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interesting... don't think i realized that most traffic offenses were misdemeanors... I thought they were just fines, possibly some points on your license, and a blip on your driving record.

Maybe i'll call up my doctor and see what he says about this... I do have sensitive eyes, always wearing sun glasses.

Anyone have recommendations for a good tint shop around Charlotte?
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Old 02-07-12, 10:28 AM   #9
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Think tickets are bout $100-120 in my area i know people so inspection no prob an guy that done my tint faxes me receipt to say i had it removed when i get a ticket. But mines 5% all around with huge strip on front dont usually have any probs but i do live in a small town
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Old 02-07-12, 10:29 AM   #10
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Quote:
Originally Posted by ydnandy View Post
interesting... don't think i realized that most traffic offenses were misdemeanors... I thought they were just fines, possibly some points on your license, and a blip on your driving record.

Maybe i'll call up my doctor and see what he says about this... I do have sensitive eyes, always wearing sun glasses.

Anyone have recommendations for a good tint shop around Charlotte?
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Old 02-07-12, 10:38 AM   #11
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Main thing is cover your *** an inspectors. He passes you then you get pulled over later you say you got it done after it was inspected. If not they can an will pull their inspection license. They also fine the shop and the inspector. They pulled mine an fined me and the shop i worked at so never say idk how dark they are it was on it when i bought it lol. Everything is logged on their cpu now an easily trackable not like back when you just gotta sticker
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Old 02-07-12, 10:43 AM   #12
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Quote:
Originally Posted by ydnandy View Post
Does the state inspection mandate that all windows are tested, or just one? Wondering if you are more likely to pass inspection if you have a legal tint on the front windows, but darker one the back... Is that at the discretion of the testing facility?

So if a cop pulls me over and my tint is too dark, it is up to him to decide if he/she wants to charge me with the misdemeanor? Do most simply issue a traffic citation but not the criminal charge?

thanks again
Leagal tint on front windows an dark backe perfectly leagal they usually just check driver door window an yes just slap on wrist pay the damn thing an hope you dont get another one for a while lol
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Old 02-07-12, 11:53 AM   #13
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Seems quite strict over there. Sounds like you could only put a 40-50%+ tint on the window. This is from knowing the factory tint percentages on the right off from the start.

Front: 78%
Sides/Back: 70%
Sunroof: 20%

For me, I have F1 Pinnacle 40 all around and the front windshield is Llumar Air Blue 80. I would of went with Pinnacle 30% (legal limit with WA is 24%) but did not want to since I wanted something conservative. It is also the fact that BC, Canada does not allow front side windows to be tinted, so I did not want make it so dark and obvious for cops to look at the car.

Looks quite nice on my car with USB with black interior.

Pics can be seen here.

http://www.clublexus.com/forums/6983049-post260.html

F1 Pinnacle 40 could work in your car just doing a rough calculation. 70 * .43 (Pinnacle 40) = 30.1%. There is about a 5% allowable variance so assume around 30.1% to 35.1% which should work fine for your state.
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Old 02-22-12, 06:51 AM   #14
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Thanks everyone for the input. I went ahead and stayed legal, got 35% tint all around. The tint shop used "Suntek" film and the "Carbon XP" model. Lifetime warranty, wont fade, true black color.

I think it came out pretty nice. Was darker than I expected, although I do still wish I could have gone a little darker.

Attaching some pics of it for reference for anyone else looking at tint.
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Old 02-22-12, 12:50 PM   #15
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Looks good! Tint should be my next mod.
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Old 02-22-12, 12:50 PM
 
 
 
 
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